This is a table of communion and fellowship. This is why we call it Communion. It is communion with God, and it is communion with God’s people. This is why Paul told the Corinthians that when they came together to eat this meal it was not really the Lord’s Supper. There were divisions among the Corinthians, rivalries, resentments, and elbows being thrown. You can’t celebrate communion while being out of communion with God or your neighbor. It says that when the Corinthians tried to do that many of them got sick and some had even died.
In the Old Testament, when the Israelites complained against God that there was no meat to eat in the wilderness, He gave them quail, but that meat became poison to all those with evil hearts. Likewise, God told Israel that if a man suspected his wife of adultery, he could bring her to the tabernacle and the priest could give her a drink that would function as a jealousy test. In some ways, this table functions like that. If you are in fellowship with God and one another, this bread and cup are grace and strength and blessing. But if you come to this table harboring secret sins, or grievances or out of fellowship with someone, you need to know that by eating and drinking, you are inviting Christ in. Christ is here, and this is communion with Christ. But if you eat and drink communion while trying to preserve disunion, divisions, and strife, this meal will be a curse.
The answer is not to abstain from this table. If you are baptized, you really must come. Don’t cling to your sin and abstain from the meal. Rather, let go of your sin now. Drop your sin now. Determine in your heart right now to kill that sin, to confess it, to forsake it, to be reconciled to your brother or sister as soon as possible. If you do that, then this meal will strengthen you for that fight, strengthen you to do what needs to be done.
So look around as you share this meal. Smile at your wife, your husband, your kids, your parents, your roommates, your friends. Is all well? Or do you need to lean over and whisper an apology and forgiveness to someone? Do it. This is communion. This is the communion of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood reconciles every sin. So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.